Little Kids and Big Kids
It is normal for adults to feel uneasy about relocating for a job and kids are not immune to anxiety and fears. Children have legitimate fears about being uprooted and need reassurances and honest communication from their parents in different dosages throughout the process.
Parents should stress the benefits to the family unit and maintain a positive attitude about this new stage in the family's life and share their own concerns without blowing them out of proportion. Kids pick up on parental anxieties faster than we give them credit for and tend to internalize and magnify them quickly.
Children in elementary school need reassurance that they will fit in and be able to make new friends, but they also suffer from separation anxiety from friends, neighborhood settings and routines. Keep the communication open and reassure them that the most important things are moving with them: their family. Focus on the activities they enjoy now and give them the responsibility of researching those activities online in their new location. This serves the dual purpose of familiarizing themselves with the area and empowering them with a measure of control in the relocation process.
If the kids are in the first three or four years of elementary school, it is best to keep reassuring words consistent and the explanations short and simple to reduce anxiety and unfounded fears. Only make promises that you can keep once the family arrives at the new location.
Big kids need time to say goodbye to their friends in person and know they won't be forgotten once they leave. Social media keeps them in touch through the miles but planning impromptu outings, small gatherings and sleep overs to get as much closure as possible is necessary to slowly disengage and be able to move on emotionally.
If mom or dad have to travel back for business, and if it is feasible, assure the teenagers that they will return to the area and spend time with their old friends on a specific date. This will ensure continuity and help to reduce anxiety. When it comes to teenagers, talking is not as necessary to relieve their fears as listening, so be a good listener and don't ask questions. Simply start open-ended conversations and allow them to say whatever is on their mind at that particular time.